Day one April 26 

I woke up this morning from a dreamless sleep. I had tried so hard to stay awake, to memorize every last part of him. Looking over at the sleeping body beside me, I bit my lip in attempts not to cry. My hand reached out, soft skin meeting soft skin. He moaned in sleepy ecstasy, feeling my touch in both the dream and physical plane. I didn't know what time it was, around 6 am by the look of the pale pink sky and the silence, left over from the night. His body shifted beside me and he turned over, a flash of golden eyes looked and me and closed again. My heart swelled and sank, making me feel slightly motion sick. I tried so hard to keep away the "this is the last time" thoughts, and had been making good progress through the week until the final night, when the sound of his soft snores suddenly charged me with a chaotic longing to be with him forever. Now the last moment was everywhere. 

This is the last time you will blink sleepily at me in the morning light. 

This is the last time you will sigh and stretch, reaching out to touch me. 

This is the last time your head will find my chest. 

I sucked in these last moments so deeply, so as to hide them in my chest cavity for later when the simple fact of missing him made it hard for me to breath. 

We stayed tangled up for a long time, but not long enough. Too soon came the time when he scrunched up and stretched, his naked body creating shapes that looked like strange sculptures. He got up to make us coffee, it took everything in me not to protest, not to make a scene. I simply gulped in that last time, putting it away with the others, and got out of bed. 

Hours later, after many trips from boat to car, I was packed, organized, and already quite exhausted. The excitement was starting to build up as I drove away from my home, it started to fade as I approached my love's work for one last goodbye. 

I waited in the parking lot, wanting time to move faster so he and I would be together sooner. Wanting time to move slower, so we never had to say goodbye. 

Time stayed the same, and before long we had ten minutes left. 

Ten minutes. 

Knowing you have ten minutes left with the person you love most in the world is indescribable. 

It is the space between heaven and hell. 

Heaven, because you are with them, hell, because you know that heaven is fleeting. 

We embraced, we cried. I watched him walk away, and he watched me drive. 

Now I am here, by a small park in a small town. 

And although I feel a small part of me is missing, I am happy to call him home and to know his heart is there to keep me safe and warm when I am ready to come back to it. 

Leaving behind your love is not easy. But the right choice, the choice that gives you experience growth, and the opportunity to explore the world and yourself, rarely is. 

I may miss him with all my heart, but I am not empty with lonely, rather I am full of his love and support, and there will never be a last time that I will receive it. 

So I go to bed, the sound of a river running near my head, nearly drowning out the distant highway. There are no stars in the sky tonight as I look up, but I see them when I close my eyes.

I am disassembling parts of myself that I have not touched in years

pieces of me, intricate parts of my history 

that have become old and dusty, spoiled in the sun 

while they sat  on a shelf, waiting to be opened

these stories have been screaming to be told 

they have been shouting over top of each other 

in my own head 

and I have not listened 

I've gone about my day, my life,

knowing that they were there but choosing to pretend that they weren't 

and now, I open them up 

I read them. I dissect them. 

and as I pick them apart I begin to see very clearly

that my pain has become so ingrained in me 

that it is quite possible that I cannot live without it

that healing doesn't mean that it will all go away

but that I will learn to be graceful while holding all my baggages 

it has become clear, 

that my ugly past will never be pretty 

and with that acceptance I can move freely 

and live in a way that resembles the act of moving on.